How are vaccines different?

Question 1 of A Parent’s Guide: A Conversation About Vaccines for New Parents

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Each vaccine is very different. For this reason, it is possible to be in favor of some vaccines while being opposed to others.

Immunizations contain different ingredients to protect against various pathogens (bacteria or virus) that have the potential to cause infectious disease.

In addition to vaccinating against distinct diseases, vaccines differ because:

  • Vaccines contain different additives (adjuvants, preservatives) which can each have different side effects.
  • Some immunize against diseases that are a part of normal body flora (pneumococcal), while others vaccinate against diseases that are not normally found in the body (Rubella).
  • Their effectiveness of varies. The flu shot can be hit or miss each year as each year’s formulation is a prediction. The bacteria causing whooping cough can mutate, reducing the efficacy of the pertussis vaccine. These two will not work the same to prevent disease from year to year.
  • The safety of vaccines varies. Flu shots must be made new each year, therefore they are not able to be safety tested to the same extent that other medications are.
  • The risk of contracting a vaccine-preventable illness varies from person to person. These differences can be based on immune health, family history, chronic illnesses, travel plans outside of the US, and at-risk behavior.

It is important for new parents to become familiar with each vaccine and its individual risks and benefits. Parents may also take into consideration that not all immunizations on the CDC’s recommended schedule are required for entry to school.

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    Return to A Parent’s Guide to Vaccines

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3 Comments

abby

I found an article on how are vaccines are different, I need to know the year it was written and the author of it

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Lori Harvey

No shots are required for school. 47 out of 50 states have some sort exemption other than a medical exemption (which is impossible to get, even for vaccine injured children).

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